Blog | February 13, 2017

How Deeper Learning Prepares Students to be Tomorrow’s Leaders

A ReadyNation member reflects on the high-school education that helped her become a business leader

Sue G. Schneider is chief executive officer of Spartanburg Water, a well-managed water utility that serves approximately 200,000 people in upstate South Carolina. Many of the skills that Ms. Schneider now uses as a highly-skilled manager are the same competencies she learned in high school.

“In high school, I participated in an exercise in which we were assigned a leadership role in a community. No one wanted to be the leader of the water and wastewater utility. So I did it,” Schneider says. “And here I am, years later, doing what I first did in that exercise.”

Effective solutions are developed by a diversity of input and support. Use a team. Use everyone’s skills.

Sue Schneider, CEO of Spartanburg Water

The core competencies that Schneider values are all components of Deeper Learning: communication, persistence, problem-solving, and teamwork. One of her mottos is, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” She also believes that “Effective solutions are developed by a diversity of input and support. Use a team. Use everyone’s skills.”

According to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, deeper learning equips students with skills that go beyond math and literacy in order to help them compete in a global economy. Deeper learning consists of six inter-related competencies that include critical thinking and problem solving, the ability to work collaboratively, and effective communication.

Business leaders like Schneider support deeper learning as a way of developing a strong workforce for the leaders of today and tomorrow.